Santorum cancels events after admitting daughter to hospital
January 29th, 2012
10:45 AM ET
2 years ago

Santorum cancels events after admitting daughter to hospital

(CNN) - Rick Santorum's three-year-old daughter Isabella, who suffers from a chromosomal condition called Trisomy 18, was admitted to a Philadelphia hospital Saturday.

In a statement, Santorum spokesman Hogan Gidley said the GOP presidential candidate and former Pennsylvania senator would cancel campaign events on Sunday morning.

"Rick and his wife Karen are admitting their daughter Bella to Children's Hospital of Philadelphia this evening," Gidley said. "The campaign will cancel Rick's upcoming Sunday morning Florida campaign schedule. However, Rick intends to return to Florida and resume the campaign schedule as soon as is possible."

On Sunday, Team Santorum said the candidate would remain in the hospital Sunday afternoon and that his scheduled events would proceed with surrogates.

Santorum was slated to appear on NBC's "Meet the Press" and to make stops in the state ahead of Florida's primary Tuesday.

Trisomy 18 is caused by extra material from chromosome 18, and is three times more common in girls than boys. Half of patients born with the condition do not survive past the first week of life, according to the National Institutes of Health. Patients who do survive past the first week experience serious medical and developmental problems.

On his campaign website, Santorum has a page devoted to his daughter, including a video in which the candidate describes the girl as the "center of the universe for our family."

"Our youngest daughter Isabella Maria, who we call Bella, is a very special girl who needs lot of care," Santorum says in the video. "When she was born we knew something was wrong but we didn't know what it was. It wasn't until five days later that they came back and told Karen and me that she had a disorder called Trisomy 18, which is similar to Down's syndrome."

Santorum describes feeling angry after doctors told him and his wife to prepare for Bella's death in the first days of her life.

"We're going to not focus on her dying; we're going to focus on her living," Santorum says in the video.


Filed under: 2012 • Florida • Rick Santorum
soundoff (153 Responses)
  1. Adevilson Silva

    I am sorry to say this, but I would love to see Santorum's wife and daughters be raped and not be allowed to undergo an abortion.

    January 29, 2012 06:55 am at 6:55 am |
  2. Kevin

    As a father of a 7 year old with a medical condition known as Neurofibromatosis I feel for the Santorum family. Get well soon Isabel.

    January 29, 2012 06:56 am at 6:56 am |
  3. Davinia

    While the beautiful love that exist between both you and your wife brought into the world an adorable treasure beyond compare, your faith, courage, strength, and tenacious love kept your daughter, Bella's life expectancy beyond what science dictated! I now join my faith and prayers with yours, and your family, love ones, friends, and well wishers for continual peace, comfort, and healing during your hour of need.

    January 29, 2012 07:01 am at 7:01 am |
  4. Shyla07NY

    It's times like this we put all our poltical differences aside; good luck to the Santorum family, my prayers are with you.

    January 29, 2012 07:07 am at 7:07 am |
  5. clarke

    My prayers to her and the family. Get better soon.

    January 29, 2012 07:13 am at 7:13 am |
  6. Tomasz

    I'm not a Santorum supporter, but I'm keeping Rick's daughter in my prayers.

    January 29, 2012 07:14 am at 7:14 am |
  7. lekhak

    I hope little Bella gets well soon.

    January 29, 2012 07:15 am at 7:15 am |
  8. katy heys

    I am not a supporter of Rick Santorum, but I offer my heartfelt wish that his daughter will recover. How terrible it must be to contemplate the death of one's child. It is not the natural order of things.

    January 29, 2012 07:26 am at 7:26 am |
  9. CapitalismIsWrong

    Santorum is lucky to have the ability to take his children to the doctor. Its ironic because he is on the campaign trail promising to remove the ability for poorer families to do the same. I hope his daughter gets better, but I wish Santorum would realize what he is doing to millions of families around the country in similar situations, just without the money to have their families properly cared for.

    January 29, 2012 07:29 am at 7:29 am |
  10. Ray

    Thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

    January 29, 2012 07:33 am at 7:33 am |
  11. Pam

    We have a special son and we know what y'all are going through. Are prayers our with you and your family. Stay strong.

    January 29, 2012 07:46 am at 7:46 am |
  12. Andrew

    It's really too bad we've let religion get in the way of medical advancement.

    January 29, 2012 07:52 am at 7:52 am |
  13. Lorena Back

    i hope bella gets out of the hosp soon they r such special babies

    January 29, 2012 07:56 am at 7:56 am |
  14. Phil

    Wow, that's a shame. Not a fan of Santorum by any stretch of the imagination, but noone deserves to go through that.

    January 29, 2012 07:59 am at 7:59 am |
  15. Bubba North

    Medical research is what we should be spending our money on so everyone can get the best care. I also support space exploration as I think it drives technology advancements in general.

    January 29, 2012 08:02 am at 8:02 am |
  16. HenryB

    I am so sorry for your daughter and your family. I have watched you in debates and find that you are the most principled of all candidates. While I disagree with your positions you care deeply about family and faith. Thank you for being a wonderful example.

    January 29, 2012 08:08 am at 8:08 am |
  17. JuanVonDinklus

    If he was such a family values man, maybe he should be at home loving his family rather than going all over and leaving them high and dry. hey though, I understand. He's a republican and family values are only good to attack your opponents.

    January 29, 2012 08:21 am at 8:21 am |
  18. Davinia

    I join my prayers with you, your wife, family, friends, and others during this time of need for healing, strength, peace, and comfort.

    January 29, 2012 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  19. IndeePendant

    As much as I can understand their pain as parents, I cannot fathom the fact that they voluntarily release statements about the status of the kids without any privacy. It is pandering for votes. What's happening in his life is personal to Santorum and his family and more so to Bella. Why should they make it so publice. It looks like more for political sympathy.

    January 29, 2012 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  20. Casey Wixson

    Wishing Bella and the Santorum family the best.

    January 29, 2012 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  21. Joyce

    So sorry to hear.All the best to the family and hoping for a speedy recovery for Isabella

    January 29, 2012 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  22. GonzoinHouston

    OK, time to turn off the partisan hype for a moment. I respect that he's returning to his family and I hope his daughter gets through this crisis OK.

    January 29, 2012 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  23. Dee

    Political parties aside, I will pray for Rick, his family and especially his daughter. A student I worked with for two years died six months ago, at the unusual age 6, from complications related to her diagnose of Trisomy 18. This disorder is not similar to Downs Syndrome it's worse. Most babies born with this disorder do die soon after birth and if they do live they have complications such as enlarged heart, respiratory difficulty, sever mental retardation, many do not talk but do vocalize, and atrophy of muscles if they are not ambulatory. Which, in most cases, they are not. I hope her hospitalization is for nothing serious. God bless you child.

    January 29, 2012 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  24. crazycrazy

    Best if wished to little Bella and the Santorum family.

    January 29, 2012 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  25. Kathy

    Santorum has his priorities right. I'm praying for healing for Bella.

    January 29, 2012 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
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